"People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of."
(„Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West“ - Gregory Maguire)
I remember being pretty excited when I first heard that the Wicked Witch of the West, portrayed by Rebecca Mader, would find her way to Once Upon A Time's Storybrooke somewhere back in season three and I am still excited every time Regina’s wicked half-sister shows up on my screen. I’ve been wondering why I have been so fascinated with the Wicked Witch ever since and why the particularly evil characters are the ones that fascinate me most.
Zelena, for once, has and will always have a special place in my heart and no matter how truly wicked she is, I can’t really be mad at her for long. We’ve heard that so many times before and I’ll say it again: „Evil is not born, it’s made.“ Although our favorite Greenie prides herself in being rather wicked than evil, it’s just as broad as it is long.
So, why the Wicked Witch? Because she is secretly who we’d all love to be sometimes? A woman who says things the way she means them; someone who takes great pains to get what she wants - I admit that some of her methods may be rather questionable- but you know what I’m getting at. She’s not trying to fit in, having given up on that quite some time ago, embracing her wickedness and I do envy her for that sometimes. Anyway, people have reasons for being the way they are and, in contrast to Cruella who was downright evil just because she felt like it, Zelena isn’t.
Ever since she’d been given up by her mother, simply because she seemed somewhat inconvenient, Zelena had been looking for the one thing we all want in our life: love and acceptance.
After being taken to Oz the Wicked Witch had spent her life envying her half-sister, the infamous Evil Queen, for her seemingly glamorous life, turning green with envy. Quite literally and, hands down, I’ve never seen anyone pull off green so perfectly. We’re fascinated and intrigued by villains because they are evil and what they do is forbidden, tempting and in some cases, thanks to the wonderful Rebecca Mader, most certainly pretty sexy.
I admit I felt like we reached rock bottom when Zelena disguised as Marian and got pregnant by her sister’s one true love. In the end the whole thing was so wicked that it was almost good. I feel like we let her get away with it because of the way she does it and most of the time I’m not sure whether I secretly want to high five her for being so witty or not. We’ve been through three (really? I almost lost track along the way…) curses, to hell and back (literally!) and I feel like Zelena deserves some rest, let that poor woman find peace after all. Sometimes I feel like running up to her and hug her, she would probably tear me to shreds but that would be ok. Seeing Zelena with baby Robin always warms my heart and that final scene of making amends with Mommy and sis Regina really had me in tears and I thought that it can only get better from there aaaaaaaand….
… along comes the Evil Queen.
That little minx - don’t get me wrong I love her just as much - has done a fairly good job of trying to pull Zelena back to the evil side. It made me a little sad seeing how upset Zelena was upon finding out that Regina had tried to get rid of her evil half. Contrary to what Zelena believes, I don’t think Regina intended to get rid of the one part that was most like her sister but isn’t it sad that this is what Zelena believes? Although I do understand that feeling to a certain point. It just doesn’t seem fair that she is sidelined again and again, I’m not sure if I want to see green again any time soon!
No matter what happens, I will never stop rooting for Zelena and I hope she will find her happy place after all. And I would love to thank the wonderful Rebecca Mader for portraying Zelena in such a wonderful and utterly delightful way that I have never seen before. It is one of the fewer reasons why I keep watching Once Upon A Time and I certainly won’t stop any time soon.
Watch Once Upon A Time on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.